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Jan 2, 2012 08:20 AM

Can you recommend a cast-iron pot (at least 6 inches deep)?

preferably a dutch oven. and definitely cast-iron. This will be dedicated for deep frying. I probably wont use it for anything other than this. I have a Le Creuset but im uncomfortable with using it to deep fry as i am sure it will stain. And made in China products. I checked Lodge but the most they have is 4.75 inches deep. >.<

I dont like electric deep fryers either. Can you recommend a brand that might have what im looking for? atm, it looks like im going to buy the 4.75 inch Lodge but I will be filling it with 2 inches of oil and really dont want to fill the pot more than 1/3 high due to safety concerns and the mess. Thats why I want a pot at least 6 inches high.

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  1. Does it really need to be cast iron? I deep fry in a stainless steel pot like the one shown. It works great.

    8 Replies
    1. re: tanuki soup

      I prefer it to be cast iron as it has better heat retention. I have a bunch of copper cookware but cast iron seems like a better choice for this task.

      1. re: yeahboiii

        That's certainly a valid reason. Maybe best solution is the Lodge and a spatter screen (to minimize the mess at least).

        1. re: yeahboiii

          I suspect you are most interested in minimizing the temperature drop after adding food, and maximizing the recovery. The immediate drop will depend on the heat capacity of the oil, which depends mainly on the quantity. Once the oil is colder than the pot, heat will flow from the pot to the oil. But is that transfer significant compared to the heat provided by the burner?

          What is the heat capacity of the oil compared to that of the pot? On a per mass basis it appears that iron is a little better than copper (but less than aluminum). Oil has a higher specific heat than iron (4x as much?), though not as high as water.

          I suspect the only real advantage to cast iron is its shear mass - the pots are heavy. But copper will do a better job of transferring heat from the burner to the oil. Shape of the pot is also important. A deep one will limit the amount of food you can fry per volume of oil.

          1. re: yeahboiii

            Hey, yeahboii:

            Just so you know, aluminum has twice the specific heat of cast iron, measured by weight. So an aluminum pan half the weight of a CI pan will hold just as much heat. A old Guardian pan might be a decent choice and save you a buck.


          2. re: tanuki soup

            Bayou Classic is an alternative.


            Oh, never mind. Their cast iron is from China.

            1. re: GH1618

              I think Bayou cast iron cookware are made in China. Good choice really:


              1. re: GH1618

                I got so excited after finding a size i loved. Then I saw "made in China." :(

                ugh..i hate how everything is made there. might work well but im allergic to "made in China" lol.

                1. re: yeahboiii

                  I'm with you on the China thing, but it's pretty difficult to work around it these days. The alternative to US-made Lodge is the antique market. Very expensive.

              potjie is an African style of cast iron pot that is deep.

              1 Reply
              1. If you look really hard, you might be able to find something old, although it would be costly. I own an old CI Dutch oven that is quite deep. It would be suitable for deep frying, but it would use prodigious amounts of oil, and would take forever to heat. Why is an electric deep fryer not an option? If I was going into deep frying, I'd take a hard look at an electric fryer, since I am sure the thermostatic controls would make doing this foolproof. I know of two family members who had hot oil catch fire in their kitchens.

                8 Replies
                1. re: sueatmo

                  Isn't most electric deep fryers are made in China too?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I missed that requirement. Sorry. I'd still recommend an electric for the frying fiend, though. As to the rec for a Staub Dutch oven, I think that or any other good quality Dutch oven might work. I own a Berndes cast aluminum Dutch oven with an anodized type finish that would surely work as a deep fryer. If OP owns a DO, he or she might use that.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      I am also wondering about the Staub Dutch Oven height as well. yeahboiii wants a Dutch Oven of at least 6 inch in depth. Even the 9-Quart Dutch Oven is 5.5 inch in height (probably only 5 inch in depth), only the 13 Quart Dutch Oven has the depth required by the original poster.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Good catch, CK. I also checked a bunch of cast iron tempura pots at Amazon Japan. All of them were less than 6 inches deep.

                        PS. Have a great 2012!

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          You are right. My oven is about 4" deep. I imagine the cost of the oil for deep frying must be enormous, even if you recycle your oil for several fryings.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            I think what the original poster really wants a tall and narrow cast iron pot not made in China, but most cast iron pots have a wide design, not a tall design.

                            So, in order to get a 6 inch deep pot, the pot would be really big. For example, the Staub 13 Quart is huge. Look at the linked video. It is listed as 22 lbs.

                            P.S.: Happy new year to you and tanuki soup as well.


                    2. re: sueatmo

                      I've heard that a pot with a thermometer is still superior. Maybe in a few years I may consider a deep fryer but not right now. As long as I pay attention to the temperature, fire shouldn't be a problem.

                    3. Another possibility would be to get a Staub Dutch oven. They are black matte enamel on the inside, so you don't need to worry about staining. (Admittedly, this is a rather expensive option.)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tanuki soup

                        I forgot about their black enamel. That is definitely an option. Best part is its interior gets better with use unlike Le Creuset. I was actually just about to buy a braiser from Staub and completely forgot I could buy their dutch oven as well. I certainly wont limit that one to deep frying though. Im only recently becoming a Le Creuset to Staub convert. The more reason to switch.

                        1. re: yeahboiii

                          Hi, just so you know, all satin black le creuset have staub-style black enamel too. Best, fumet.

                      2. I have seen made in India cast iron cookware similar to Le Creuset. You can opt for a kadahai (heavy cast iron Indian woks). Not made in China. Kadahai (karahi, kadai, korai, etc) are similar to Chinese style woks - but hey are heavier and the curvature is different (flatter on the bottom and steeper on the sides) making them more suitable to deep-frying on a western stove than woks.